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2021 Football Game Time Speculation/Announcements
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schmolik Online
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Exclamation 2021 Football Game Time Speculation/Announcements
The first few weeks of the college football season are almost over which means that we have entered the portion of the season where the times and networks for most games remains to be determined. The majority of games are announced 12 days in advance or the second Monday before kickoff. Sept. 13 (tomorrow) should be the day many of the Sept. 25 game times and network announcements should be made by the conferences, Sept. 20 for the Oct. 2 games, etc. Networks/conferences, however, are given a certain number of "six day holds" which allow them to not pick until the Sunday before the game to account for the games before the week of the game.

The rights for Big 10, Big 12, and Pac 12 are complicated as FOX and ABC/ESPN bid before the season for rights to pick first each week. In the Big 10, FOX always has the first choice of picks for the season. It is assumed that they chose the week of the Ohio State/Michigan game (FOX has announced they will air the game). So ABC/ESPN has the first pick of any other week of their choice. The draft was completed before the season. They have or had a game in mind but they can change their mind until the week before the season in case one or both of the teams goes in the tank or there's a surprise top team. In the Big 12, FOX and ABC/ESPN alternate the top pick. In the Pac 12, the rights are complicated (the San Jose Mercury News' Jon Wilmer often posts info about their media rights and game choices but the Mercury News' articles are frequently paywalled).

That being said, this thread will update game times/networks and speculate/guess for future weeks.

It can be tough to guess the Big 10, Big 12, and Pac 12 because it's anyone's guess as to who has the top pick each week, FOX or ABC/ESPN. Matt Sarzyniak often posts predictions for the upcoming week as well as confirmations when they come in at his website (https://mattsarzsports.blogspot.com/) so I strongly recommend visiting his webpage often during the football season. The ACC is easier to guess as ABC/ESPN have their full rights. The SEC also is easier as CBS has their top pick with additional considerations for doubleheaders (see conference notes below).

Conference Notes (Courtesy of Matt Sarzyniak):

SEC:

CBS has the rights to 12-15 regular season games and the conference championship. Up to two of those games can be non-conference games. CBS will always have the top choice of SEC games on a weekly basis. When CBS does a doubleheader that includes a primetime game, CBS can choose the top two games on a given weekend. When they do a doubleheader that includes a 12pm game, it must allow ESPN to reserve two games before selecting their next game. Also, a school may not appear on CBS more than five times during the season, with some exceptions allowing for a sixth appearance. The SEC Championship Game is never part of the appearance count.

ESPN Networks has the rights to remaining SEC home games, primarily prime time telecasts. A content board will be established to determine which games will air on ESPN and the SEC Network. The plan is to air a tripleheader of games every week. There will overflow or alternate feeds of the network to allow for multiple games to air in a single telecast window.

Starting with the 2021 season, each school could have one non-conference game chosen to air on ESPN+. This is part of an updated agreement with the conference that will eventually see all SEC controlled football games move over to ESPN platforms. In 2021, these games will also be streamed through the SEC+ online portal.

Big 10:

The Big Ten has primary television contracts with ESPN and FOX Sports and a secondary TV contract with the Big Ten Network (BTN), a FOX Sports Media Group & Big Ten joint venture.

ESPN Rights Notes
27 total games.
All intraconference games must air on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2.
Non-conference games can air on ESPNU.
At least six games in primetime on ABC or ESPN.

FOX Sports Rights Notes
24-27 total games to air on FOX & FS1.
Up to nine games per season will air in primetime
FOX will air the conference championship game every season.
FOX Sports will have the first choice of the weeks they want the top choice of games.
Every Big Ten school must make two appearances on BTN. At least one of those appearances must be from a conference game.

ACC:

The ACC has a contract with ESPN for all of its football television rights with games airing on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ACC Network and ACC Network Extra. This contract begins with the 2011-12 athletic year and ends with the 2036-37 athletic year.

It does not appear that there are any limits/minimums in terms of number of games over a season for the ACC with their national TV contracts. The ACC is guaranteed a game on Labor Day by ESPN.

To cover the additions of Syracuse and Pittsburgh to the conference, the ACC signed an extension with ESPN for more money per school, adding years to the deal that started with the 2011-12 athletic year. Items relevant to football include that the ACC will have up to three Friday night football games per season, one of those three to be played on Black Friday in the afternoon or evening. Specifically, Boston College and Syracuse will each host one Friday night game per year.

Pac 12:

The Pac-12 has a pair of rightsholders: ESPN and FOX Sports Media Group. Contracts with both entities start with the 2012-13 athletic year and end after the 2023-24 athletic year.

ESPN Rights Notes
At least two games on ABC, with one game required to air in primetime on the east coast
Up to twenty games on ESPN Networks (ESPN, ESPN2 & ESPNU)
Of the twenty games on ESPN Networks, up to four games on Thursday nights & up to four games on Friday night.
Up to four of the twenty games can air on ESPNU
Most ESPN/ESPN2 Saturday games will air at 10pm or 10:30pm ET
FSMG Rights Notes
A minimum of eight games on FOX
A maximum of fourteen games on FS1
At least four games on FOX will air in primetime.
Overall, the conference works with both ESPN and FOX to place at least four games on Thursdays and another four games on Fridays, including the day after Thanksgiving. FOX and ESPN will alternate airing the Pac-12 Championship Game. In even-numbered seasons, FOX will air the game. ESPN has the rights in odd-numbered years.

The conference has also created the Pac-12 Networks, a mix of six regional networks and a national network feed, to air all other games.

A school may not appear more than nine times combined in the ESPN and FOX packages. This is to allow the Pac-12 Networks to air at least one game from every school, assuming a school plays at least one home non-conference game.

Big 12:

The Big 12 have a pair of contracts with ESPN and FOX Sports. Both contracts expire after the 2024-25 athletic year.

The ESPN deal allows for 23 games per year and games can air on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN+ and Longhorn Network (see note below re: LHN). FOX's deal is for up to 40 games per year to place games on FOX broadcast network and various FOX Sports pay TV platforms. A minimum of six of FSMG's games must appear on FOX with another six on FS1. Overall, a minimum of 25 games must air on ABC, ESPN, FOX and FS1. Starting in 2017, the conference reactivated their championship game. ESPN has the rights to the conference championship game to air on ABC or ESPN.

Big 12 selection order for each week will be determined via a draft of weeks before the season. In even numbered years, FOX will retain the top choice of weeks and in odd numbered years, ESPN wiil have it.

Individual institutions retain the rights to at least one game not aired by ESPN or FOX Sports, allowing those institutions to explore other avenues to televising those games. All schools except for Texas and Oklahoma will air their institutionally held games on ESPN+. Oklahoma's member retained game will remain with FOX Sports through 2022.

Regarding Longhorn Network, one Texas game per year airing on the network counts as an institutional game, like all other Big 12 schools. Any subsequent Texas games airing on Longhorn Network will count towards the ESPN contract.

Known TV Windows:https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1liuoxEH9DCHZ-jPzrKA_BPsQuVFtcgjwTphZZX8tYZ4/edit#gid=0 (ABC appears, other tabs can be chosen).
(This post was last modified: 09-12-2021 11:15 AM by schmolik.)
09-12-2021 09:39 AM
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schmolik Online
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RE: 2021 Football Game Time Speculation/Announcements
Sept. 25 guesses:

All times ET

SEC:
Tennessee at Florida, 3:30pm (CBS)
Texas A&M vs. Arkansas at Arlington, 7pm (ESPN)

Big 10:
Notre Dame vs. Wisconsin at Chicago, noon (FOX) - Previously chosen
Rutgers at Michigan, 3:30pm (ABC) - Rutgers is 2-0 and playing FCS Delaware Week 3.
(This week, we know FOX had the first pick. It is not automatic that ABC has the second pick. I've seen one network have the first two picks in a given week. Also, the game time for Rutgers/Michigan has been already announced because it's their Homecoming Game, the network has not).

ACC:
Clemson at NC State, noon (ABC)

Pac 12:
UCLA at Stanford, 3:30pm (FOX)

Big 12:
West Virginia at Oklahoma, 7:30pm (ABC-SNF)

I can see Clemson/NC State and West Virginia/Oklahoma switching slots (and Oklahoma will be PO'ed).

The noon slot on ESPN likely goes to the SEC (Georgia/Vanderbilt, LSU/Mississippi State). Maybe even Texas Tech/Texas but that gives ESPN the first two Big 12 picks this week. I'd probably believe TTU/UT would be more likely for FS1 then along with one of Vill/PSU or Akr/OSU. According to Matt Sarzyniak, FOX is scheduled for MLB in prime time on Sept. 25 while FS1 has the usual noon, 3:30pm, and 7pm windows.

Also of note: CBS is airing Boise State at Utah State at noon (already announced).

Updated since I forgot about the BTN requirement for Ohio State and Penn State.
(This post was last modified: 09-12-2021 10:29 AM by schmolik.)
09-12-2021 10:03 AM
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stever20 Offline
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RE: 2021 Football Game Time Speculation/Announcements
I could see CBS going 6 day hold here and if Florida got killed by Alabama selecting the A&M/Arkansas game. Especially after what Arkansas did yesterday.
09-12-2021 10:44 AM
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2021 Football Game Time Speculation/Announcements
Hoping Purdue Illinois is earlier. Short road trip for travel and lots of late night driving not ideal.


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09-12-2021 01:30 PM
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schmolik Online
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RE: 2021 Football Game Time Speculation/Announcements
Looking ahead to October 9 we have a lot of big games. It's the annual Red River Rivalry game between current Big 12 and future SEC members Oklahoma and Texas. We also have Alabama at Texas A&M in one of Alabama's toughest road games (this game or this Saturday's game at Florida in addition to always tough Auburn). Finally we have Penn State at Iowa, the two most impressive Big Ten teams so far.

I looked at Matt's available TV windows and found PSU-Iowa listed as an option only under FOX or FS1 but not ABC or ESPN. I then found at Penn State's schedule page and Iowa's schedule page that both schools listed FOX or FS1 as the possible networks for the game. Meanwhile, Oklahoma-Texas was listed as ESPN or ABC. This was confirmed at Texas's schedule page (not Oklahoma's).

https://gopsusports.com/sports/football/schedule/2021
https://hawkeyesports.com/sports/football/schedule/
https://texassports.com/sports/football/schedule/2021

PSU-Iowa will be FOX's game of the day since OU-UT will be on ABC and OSU is playing Maryland. Normally that would make it a shoo in for the Big Nooner but chances are Oklahoma/Texas will be the noon game on ABC that day. Would FOX want to go head to head with Oklahoma/Texas or save Penn State/Iowa for 3:30pm when it will likely compete vs. Georgia/Auburn on CBS (Alabama/Texas A&M is likely CBS's prime time game)? FOX is big on Big Noon Saturday and probably sticks to it but that would be a week I'd consider switching it, especially since it would be an 11am kickoff in Iowa City and CBS doesn't have a killer game at 3:30pm. The whole point of FOX wanting its biggest game at noon is to "win the time slot". Which time slot is FOX most likely to win on October 9? If FOX all of a sudden doesn't care about competing games, why don't they just move all their games to 3:30pm or prime time then? Oklahoma certainly would love to never have to play 11am CT games anymore.
09-13-2021 06:17 AM
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RE: 2021 Football Game Time Speculation/Announcements

09-13-2021 10:43 AM
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RE: 2021 Football Game Time Speculation/Announcements

09-13-2021 11:31 AM
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Hokie Mark Offline
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Exclamation RE: 2021 Football Game Time Speculation/Announcements
ACC Football game times/networks

Friday, Sept. 24
Wake Forest at Virginia, 7 p.m., ESPN2 (previously announced)
Liberty at Syracuse, 8 p.m., ACCN (previously announced)

Saturday, Sept. 25
Missouri at Boston College, Noon, ESPN2
Richmond at Virginia Tech, Noon, ACCN
New Hampshire at Pitt, Noon, ACCNX/ESPN+
Central Connecticut at Miami 12:30 p.m., RSN
Clemson at NC State, 3:30 p.m., ABC or ESPN (network designation after games of Sept. 18)
Louisville at Florida State, 3:30 p.m., ESPN2
Kansas at Duke, 4 p.m., ACCN
North Carolina at Georgia Tech, 7:30 p.m., ACCN

All times are Eastern.
09-13-2021 11:48 AM
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schmolik Online
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RE: 2021 Football Game Time Speculation/Announcements
Big Ten:

[Image: E_LjVwdWQAYToRu?format=jpg&name=medium]

Rutgers/Michigan is competing with Clemson/NC State for the ABC 3:30pm slot.

How did the Big 12 get THREE ABC/FOX slots? Iowa State/Baylor?
09-13-2021 01:34 PM
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